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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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in its grave, railed in by millions of bayonets and triple sealed with the seals
of three great Empires."
The Poles considered Tsardom to be their greatest foe, and only fifty
years previously Jan Poplawski, the creator of the National Democratic
Party, had proclaimed Prussia as the chief foe of Poland, and had advocated
the necessity of achieving a compromise with Russia. When in 1904,
Russia was shaken by revolution and the power of the Tsar was waning,
the Polish National Democratic Party began the task of breaking down the
traditional anti-Russian front of Polish political opinion. The leader of
the Party, Roman Dmowski, believing in a war with Germany, against a
coalition, comprised of France, England and Russia, admitted to the prin-
ciple of the formation of a parallel anti-German front in Poland, so that,
following a victory of the Allies, Polish people would hold the right to ask
for a union of their partitioned territories at least. Dmowski's idea was
c with a weak Russia against a strong Germany.9 Sikorski picked up the
thread of this same idea, but applied it under different conditions, since it
was to be e with a strong Russia against a weak Germany.5 But a strong
Russia was in no need of the support of Poland.
The Poland of 1941 appeared extremely weak in Moscow's eyes, and
if Stalin resumed diplomatic relations with the Polish Government in
London, it was above all for moral reasons. These reasons had become
extremely valuable at that particular moment in the Soviet policy of
turning the ' three horse team' of the Russian Empire into reverse.
But above all other considerations, the Kremlin had indeed an urgent
need of Poland in 1941, for was she not a ' synonyme * of England ?
And the help of Britain seemed to be a matter of life and death to the
Kremlin when the terrific German storm was striking at its Empire.
In addition, Poland represented a certain value in the battle itself,
when her exceptional position in the centre of the net-work of German
communications at the rear of their Eastern front was taken into con-
sideration. The Bolsheviks, experienced and living in the tradition of
civil war, highly appreciated the possibility of warfare in the
rear of the enemy, and the result of the action of the German Fifth Column
Army in Poland in 1939 had only served to strengthen this opinion in
These were the main reasons for the renewal of Russia's diplomatic
relations with Poland. But, since Moscow strictly adhered to the prin-
ciple of realism in its policy, the very day, indeed lie very moment, when
these reasons no longer existed, Stalin did not hesitate to sever im-
mediately with consummate ease all relations with that country.
The Polish Government, like the British, found, in their first contact
with Russia in 1941, that information regarding the conditions of life in
that country had not been exaggerated. The first transport of several
hundred Polish airmen who arrived in the autumn (via Archangel to the
Clyde) on a Russian ship, made an unforgettable impression on those
who went to the port to welcome them. They met not men, but wrecks,